During the summer, one of the most common problems roofing contractors deal with isn’t shingles, siding or gutters. More issues are caused by poor attic ventilation than all of these components combined! Improperly installed attic ventilation cannot address two important aspects of indoor comfort: heat and moisture. Without proper ventilation, moisture from everyday activities such as showering, washing laundry and washing dishes rises to the attic and slowly collects there. This can lead to a number of serious and expensive problems.
- Short roof life. Excess heat and moisture cause roof decking to dry-rot and shorten the life of shingles and underlayment. Cracked shingles or premature granule loss can be signs of improper roof ventilation.
- A/C wear and tear. An air conditioner in a home with improper attic ventilation must work overtime to keep the inside air cool, particularly in the upper levels. This stress can reduce the unit’s life and drive up utility costs.
- Sagging or spongy decking. When excess moisture seeps into roof decking, it may begin to dissolve the adhesives which hold them together and cause it to warp and sag.
- Mold and mildew. A humid environment is the ideal place for mold or mildew to grow. Mold can damage items in attic storage and cause respiratory problems for residents.
- Ice dams. An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms along a roof’s edge and prevents snowmelt from draining off the roof. The snow is melted by trapped warm air that rises to the roof deck. Once a dam forms, water backs up behind it and can leak into the home.
- Rust. Moisture encourages rust to form on structural metal like nails and fasteners. Over time, this can rust the heads off of nails and cause venting or plumbing straps to fail.
Extend the Life of Your Roof
An attic with proper ventilation will allow hot air and moisture to escape, lessening the load on your air conditioning unit in the summer and preventing moisture-related damage. You will also want to be sure that your attic has adequate levels of attic insulation to prevent heat loss during colder months.
If you have concerns about your attic ventilation system, call the professionals at Roofing & More at (703) 828-1620 to schedule a free inspection. With a few modifications, we may be able to help you save a huge amount on energy bills and even prevent structural repairs or roof replacement.